Friday, October 9, 2009

The Fair

The Oldest has hit the teen years, and some experiences are replays of my own life in this small town. Like tonight.  I'm now in the seat my mother once sat in, watching him walk across the road towards the fairgrounds, all of them turning to wave at the Baby.

This year, he asked to go to our local fair with friends. We went last weekend as a family, but this is something of a rite of passage in these parts. All the middle school and high school kids get dropped off in their team sweatshirts and school jackets and wander the fairgrounds, eating greasy fair food, going on the rides, playing midway games.

I remember going with my friends at the same age. The excitement of walking through the gates without parents, the chill of the air, the cold mud sucking at our boots and sneakers (we were smart enough to dress for warmth and comfort, not for fashion – of course, the Preppy Handbook era helped, with its' dress code of duck boots and Northern Isle sweaters!). The year one of the girls went on the swings, got off, and promptly lost her supper in a nearby trash can. The flirting with boys from other towns. The flirting with boys from our own town. The one girl carrying three humungous stuffed animals her boyfriend has won her. The thrill of closing the place down, walking down the midway and out the main gate as the lights on the rides were shutting off.

With prompting from a few of us moms, our kids sorted out who would get rides to and from with who, and, despite the rain showers, they all piled into assorted vehicles and hit the road in the early evening. My van was at full capacity thanks to the added attraction of the Baby coming along for the drop-off. He’s become something of an unofficial mascot for the Oldest’s class; the suggestion has been made of selling 8x10 pics of him as a fundraiser for the class!

I listened to the conversation as we traveled towards the fairgrounds: Do you want to get something to eat first or go on rides? Which rides make you sick? Where was everyone meeting up? Who else is going? I rolled to a stop across from the main entrance, and the doors opened. As my van emptied and I watched them walk through those main gates, all I could think of was how much fun they were in for tonight!

It almost made me want to have Hubby meet me there after work, throw him in a varsity jacket, and hit the Ferris Wheel! Then I realized the rain was picking up, and that a nice warm house was just a car ride home…


Tricia said...

I remember going to the fair in a car load of 'cool' kids. Standing under the ferris wheel, thinking it was raining, when actually kids were spitting on us.....THAT was a wake up call....

Two Normal Moms said...

Sounds like a blast! The fair WAS great when I was a teenager. Of course, I still think it's great. Now, though, I skip the pukey rides and the games that are too expensive and just eat lots of greasy fair food!